A Shannon man has launched an appeal against a decision from the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) to hand him a six month ban for comments posted online.
In a week where the Football Association of Ireland (FAI)’s financial report showed liabilities of over €55m, the Government opted to withhold €2.8m in annual funding, Three Ireland announced they were not renewing their sponsorship deal which was worth €7.5m over four years to the organisation and it was revealed that ex CEO John Delaney received a €462,000 settlement, the CDSL also came under fire.
On Friday last it emerged that a registered member of a Shannon club received a six month ban from the CDSL. The suspension was dished out on the back of online comments directed at the League following their public support of Delaney subsequent to his departure from the FAI which acknowledged how “he brought the FAI AGM and Festival of Football to Clare in 2011 which played a big part in the promotion of the game in our country and helped a number of local businesses at the time. He has attended many functions over the years and has been very helpful to the League and our clubs in the development of facilities.”
Following the post, the player in question criticised the CDSL’s support of Delaney who he later declared to be corrupt. As further details emerged of FAI finances, more comments were made on social media including one where the county committee was called a “shower of scumbags,” according to the CDSL. “The player was suspended for bringing the game into disrepute” and they flagged that the individual “has not played all season with the club” to which they are registered.
When light was shed on the FAI’s finances, the Clare man said “shame on you” to the League in relation to their post earlier this year. At the time of the initial comments, he was not a member of any club in the CDSL.
A petition was set up by a club member to overturn the ban and at the time of going to print has over 800 signatures. It highlighted that the suspended individual is a regular supporter of the national team, he has been to approximately twenty Republic of Ireland games in the last five years. The ban “from all football activities” is in place until June 1st 2020 and may be extended.
An interview with the suspended player and The Clare Echo was due to take place on Tuesday evening but had to be postponed as the individual was told by a legal professional not to make any more comments until his appeal is heard by the Munster Football Association. He requested for his name to be omitted in the article. FIFPro, the international professional footballers union are funding the appeal.
The Clare Echo understands that the CDSL have also reported the matter to the Gardaí and are considering to be pursuing legal action against certain media outlets over their coverage on the issue.